Apple’s Chinese factories: they’re grrreeat!
APPLE’S Chinese factors are great. Really. You’d really have to have a heart of stone not to laugh over this. Various idiot and weepy lefty types over in the US have been decrying the labour conditions at the Foxconn factories in China where so much of Apple’s gear is made.
Petitions flying around, My God, it’s appalling, they only make $17 a day, they’re slaves, immoral capitalist bastards and….well, you get the picture.
So Apple has signed up to the FLA: an organisation that checks factories for how appallingly the little children are made to suffer making our shiny gewgaws. And we’ve the first result from the first inspections already:
After his first visits to Foxconn, van Heerden said, “The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm.”
He spent the past several days visiting Foxconn plants to prepare for the study.
“I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory,” he said. “So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. . It’s more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps.”
It does rather knock the whole exploitation story on the head, doesn’t it?
Just a couple of facts for those who doubt this. The suicide rate in Foxconn factories is below the suicide rate for China as a whole. Wages at Foxconn are much higher than the average Chinese wages and they’re also higher than average Chinese manufacturing wages. Oh, and Chinese manufacturing wages in general have gone up by four times (yes, really, four times, after inflation) in the past decade as people build huge girt factories and start employing people.
Are thing perfect? Nope. Are the Chinee being exploited? Well, you can say so if you like. But do get the major point: it’s that very exploitation which is making things get better.